Stop feeling badly about yourself

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Lately I have not felt like myself, and have not had much motivation to blog. Right now I’m in one of those ruts where it’s very difficult to motivate myself to do anything, especially school work. I’m burned out.

Art school is demanding. No matter how creative you are or how much you love art, you’ll reach a point that you will feel like you’ve been sucked dry of imagination. It’s not that it is hard, but you’ve crossed the line between something you used to do for enjoyment to something you are now doing to make money. Then there is the criticism that makes my eyes roll so far back into my head. It’s not that I can’t handle constructive criticism. I feel it is necessary in life so that we can grow as people. Yet, I do not believe we should change who we are to meet the approval of others nor should we change our artwork to suit the likes of others. There have been several times I’ve had to scrap projects and do them all over again just to meet the satisfaction of a Professor even though I put a lot of effort into my project. Art is subjective, or so I thought. So I began to question myself and if I am doing the right thing. Is my artwork good enough to not be bad, but not good enough to be great? Then my confidence goes out the window and I start doing things the way other people want them rather then what I want to do.

Then comes the peer comparisons. There will always be people who are better at something then you are. As an Artist you must acknowledge and accept this from the beginning. Comparing yourself to others is discouraging. Competing with others is unproductive.  Being pretentious and full of yourself is ignorant. Admitting that you make mistakes, learning from them, and continuously working to improve yourself is honorable.

In times of frustration it is important to remember this.

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Design Tip – How to add social media icons to your blog

design tip social media iconsSocial media is important in many aspects of our daily lives. Whether it is utilized purely as a casual way to keep in touch with friends or on a professional level, it is now our primary source of communication. If you want to be easily accessible, prominently display your contact information on your blog. A great way of doing this is adding some customized social media icons.Use something a little more eye catching rather then the typical links or default icon sets.

Here are the steps to get custom icons onto your blog:

1.) First things first, either create your own icons or download a set. You can find some free sets here or some that are a little more fancy for a few dollars here. If you want to try creating your own I’d recommend using Photoshop or Picmonkey. Rather then reinvent the wheel I found this amazing tutorial here on the step by step process of creating icons and then mapping them.

2.) Once you have your icons ready make sure you save them to a hosting site like Photobucket or Flickr. I’m using WordPress and often use my library to host my images. This is absolutely crucial! Otherwise you’ll end up losing all that work you just created.

3.) As I mentioned previously, I use WordPress. So this next step is based on the way the WordPress blogging platform is set up. After you have your HTML code from the image map site, log into your WordPress Dashboard and click on Appearances then Widgets. Create a text widget and paste the code in there. At this point you should be able to place the widget where ever you’d like the icons to appear on your blog. Keep in mind if you are using a free theme you are limited to the locations you can put widgets. For example, I use the free Adelle theme and all of my widgets are placed on the right side column.

If you aren’t using WordPress and would like help on how to add custom icons to your site, please contact me. I’ll be happy to help!

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DIY Unconventional Costumes

This week I wanted to do something a little different for my Friday post. Every year I venture to one of those Halloween stores that randomly pop up this time a year and spend an obscene amount of money for a costume. Yet every year I end up not really wearing the costume because we don’t go to any Halloween parties and trick or treat night ends up being one of the coldest nights of the year. So, this year I am NOT buying a costume just to sit outside with a blanket draped over myself to hand out candy. In case I do decide to wear a costume, I’ve come up with a few ideas that I can most likely pull together from things in my closet or from the thrift store. Our local thrift store actually puts clothing and accessories together to make a costume and displays them at the store.

So, rather then putting together a typical home made costume I thought of some different unconventional ones.

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gsg(Note: “Goth School Girl” is inspired by the movie “The Craft”, which I was obsessed with in junior high.)

 

Friday Favorites September 5

Guess what?!

Tomorrow is my birthday! Hopefully right now I’m still asleep spending the day relaxing. Tomorrow night we have reservations for a yummy dinner at Emeril’s Italian Table. The Eggplant Parm is amazing. Without further a due here are this week’s favs…

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1.) This Ulta Blender Sponge I learned applying make up by trial and error. My first tool of the trade was my fingers. Next, I graduated to those foamy sponges, and for awhile I just used the puff pads. I started wearing MAC liquid foundation and moved on up to a brush. Out of all of these methods, the brush provided the most smooth lasting coverage. UNTIL I tried this blender thingy. I saw it over and over again at Sephora and refused to pay $18 for it. On a trip to Ulta my husband I insisted I try it because it was only $5. Oh my gosh! I can’t believe what a different it makes with make up application.

2.) Target High Waist Flare Jeans Flares Flare jeans became popular while I was in junior high school and I’ve been a fan ever since. HOWEVER I don’t do low rise. My hips are large and any item of clothing that goes lower then my navel instantly creates a muffin top. I have a hard time finding jeans with my body type. I’ve been wearing a pair of Tilt jeans for like 5 years now that have fit me on again and off again. Right now, it’s an off again period. I gained a little weight (maybe 5lbs or so) and the jeans no longer fit as well as they should. When I saw these at target I had to try them on. I love the faded color and the fact that they are “high waist.”

I felt they were flattering, the high waist was perfect to cover up that little bit of extra bulge and they are a bit stretchy. Jean problem solved!

3.) Naked 2 Basics Palette Everyone is raving about this thing and yes, it is that awesome! I love that the colors are matte. I own both the Naked and Naked 3 palette an both have a lot of shimmery colors included. I work in an office and try to usually stay toned down. Plus, I’m lazy in the morning and don’t feel like going all out on my make up. If you like neutral matte colors, definitely pick this up!

4.) The Simpsons Powder Blush in Sideshow You. I grew up watching the Simpsons and love that MAC paid homage and came out with a special collection. The eye and lip colors were a little too bold for me so I opted on the coral blush. The packaging is adorable and the blush is beautiful. One of my favorite blushes is Orgasm by NARs but I find that to be too sparkly. Sideshow You reminds me of it but it is more matte. If you are a Simpson fan, definitely pick up something from this collection!

5.) NYX Xtreme Lip Cream in STRAWBERRY JAM Am I the last to know that Target now sells NYX products? I am pretty much at target every other day and have never noticed them before. I love love LOVE these lip creams. The colors are super sheer and not sticky. Strawberry Jam in particular leaves a pink neutral hue on your lips. It’s very subtle but pretty. I think these are about $4.50 each. Try one, seriously.

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The art of giving ourselves credit for the smallest victories

As an “artist” I find that I constantly compare my work with other peoples. I put artist in quotation marks because I do not feel confident enough to call myself one. When I look at the amazing artwork of Mark Ryden or Tara Mcpherson I am mesmerized by the perfection of their pieces. Then I look at my work in comparison and see the sad realization that I will never be as good as them.

As the saying goes we are our own worst critics. By comparing ourselves to others we are actually judging ourselves. This leaves us full of self-doubt. We adopt the notion that we will never be good enough. Our motivation actually decreases when we are hard on ourselves.

So the question is how do we stop comparing ourselves? Rather then looking at the work of others, start looking at YOUR work. Pull out an old sketch book and compare it with some of your recent work. Look at your own progression as an artist. We are constantly becoming better at things as time goes on. We learn new techniques and with practice our potential is limitless.

When you start to really think about it comparing ourselves with others is actually illogical.
After all no two people are the same. Each of us posses unique experiences that influence our own person style. Take into account all the things we could learn or improve on if we see the work of other artists as inspiration rather then competition.

As an example I used to hate drawing hands and would try to avoid putting them in my work. Years later I learned a new technique and now I do not mind it as much. Actually I kind of like drawing them now. Look at my progression:

old hand

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Instead of drawing out fingers I decided to try to make them wrap around the subjects shoulder. You can barely tell they are fingers.

 

2014 hand

 

 

 

 

 

 

This is a quick sketch I did last night of a hand. It isn’t amazing but in comparison I have come very far from where I was years ago. The more often I practice the better I will become.

I remember seeing the phrase, “the art of giving ourselves credit for the smallest victories” somewhere online as I began to write this post. The statement really stood out to me. I believe it is important that we gives ourselves credit for our accomplishments no matter how big or how small.

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